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Wall Street is obsessed with this technology that no one quite understands — here's the best explanation we've seen

Editor's note: Another blockchain explanation? Yes. If this technology ends up underpinning financial transactions, smart contracts, virtual currencies, and more then it's our obligation to understand what we will be depending on. 

Science fiction author Arthur C. Clark said it nicely:

Clarke's third law: "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic."

When we accept a thing as magic we're at the mercy of magicians, both real and self-designated.


Wall Street is obsessed with blockchain.

Goldman Sachs says the technology "has the potential to redefine transactions" and can change "everything."

JPMorgan last month announced it was launching a trial projectwith the blockchain startup led by its former executive, Blythe Masters. Her company, Digital Asset Holdings, has secured fundingfrom Goldman, Citi, ICAP, and a handful of other financial firms. Exciting, right? One problem: Hardly anyone seems to understand what Blockchain is. 

Barclays' Kenneth Hill took a stab at it in a note on Friday, and it's one of the best explanations we've seen yet.

"A blockchain is simply a specific type of database (or ledger) that stores transactions," Hill wrote. But there are a number of features that differentiate it from typical ledgers.

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